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Collapse Of Wave Function. (for Mark)

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Posted by Alexander on October 25, 2001 23:51:40 UTC

1. What causes the collapse of a wave function? and what forces a particle to "choose" one path over the other?

2. Why does nature behave so randomly and unpredictably on the micro-scale, when on the macro-scale it behaves like CLOCKWORK?

3. How is it that an electron can remain in two contradictory states at once (spin up/spin down), until it interacts with "microscope"?

1. What collapses when a photon is fould in definite place? Probability, i.e., our INFORMATION about photon. So, what collapses (or inflates) when you learn something? Nothing physical. Remember the example with a coin buries somewhere in one of two holes? What collapses when you unearth one hole and INSTANTLY learn FOR SURE that a coin has to be in another hole many miles away? Nothing physical - thus wave function may even may collapse SUPERLUMINALLY (way faster than c).

What forces particle to choose one path versus another? Least action principle (which is simply a definition of energy (=work), which in turn comes from definition of a force F=dp/dt).

2. Because on microscopic scale all objects seem to be waves. But when you take TONS of those waves (calling it macroscopical object) then the mathematical result is that this BIG bunch of waves behaves much more "predictable".

3. Spin of electron is a product of momentum and position, so it CAN NOT be defined at all due to uncertainty principle. Only projection of this spin onto some direction can be defined (thus, measured), and it can be +1/2, or -1/2 with equal probability.

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